Hybridization between pond turtles (Emys orbicularis) subspecies in natural and human-mediated contact zones

Raemy, Matthieu. Hybridization between pond turtles (Emys orbicularis) subspecies in natural and human-mediated contact zones. 2017, Doctoral Thesis, University of Basel, Faculty of Science.


Official URL: http://edoc.unibas.ch/diss/DissB_12222

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Hybridization is particularly important for evolutionary and speciation processes. It promotes evolutionary divergence between lineages by reinforcing reproductive isolation mechanisms to avoid the erosion of the spatial genetic structure and the production of unfit hybrids. Additionally, hybridization creates novel taxa by the fusion of interacting lineages. However, introgressive hybridization leads to conservation problems when introgression happens between threatened lineages and non-native or domesticated lineages. In such cases, introgressive hybridization may lead to the genetic swamping of one lineage and to the loss of the entire taxon. Hybrids often harbour novel genetic combinations and novel adaptations that provide them a higher potential to adapt to environmental changes and colonize new ecological niches. In the future, conservation of hybrids might provide additional genetic diversity for species to cope with alterations in their environment. In my thesis, I investigated hybridization and introgression between European pond turtle subspecies (Emys orbicularis) by combining nuclear microsatellites and mitochondrial cytochrome b gene: I reported that introgressive hybridization between pond turtle subspecies occured in natural and human-mediated contact zones. Outcomes of introgressive hybridization between European pond turtle (Emys orbicularis) subspecies indicated that E. o. orbicularis and E. o. hellenica subspecies and hybrids may have better fitness than E. o. galloitalica subspecies and hybrids under Swiss environmental conditions. Furthermore, I developed an eDNA-based methodology to detect the presence of pond turtles and investigated the efficiency of two water sampling methods. Finally, results of this thesis provided scientific knowledge to the Swiss national conservation programme of the European pond turtle.
Advisors:Baur, Bruno and Salzburger, Walter
Faculties and Departments:05 Faculty of Science > Departement Umweltwissenschaften > Ehemalige Einheiten Umweltwissenschaften > Naturschutzbiologie (Baur)
UniBasel Contributors:Raemy, Matthieu and Baur, Bruno and Salzburger, Walter
Item Type:Thesis
Thesis Subtype:Doctoral Thesis
Thesis no:12222
Thesis status:Complete
Number of Pages:1 Online-Ressource (72 Blätter)
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edoc DOI:
Last Modified:22 Jan 2018 15:52
Deposited On:31 Aug 2017 08:29

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